Beat the Winter Blues – Part II
In the second installment of our two part series about beating the winter blues, we will “visit” some exotic rafting getaways around the world. Many of these places are great destinations for rafters and their families alike with tropical scenery and exciting rivers.
One such destination is the Zambezi River in Zambia, giving rafters the opportunity to get a totally different perspective of the whitewater rafting world. The Zambezi River is the fourth longest river in Africa, spanning across 1,670 miles. It begins close to the Angolan border and ends in the Indian Ocean, on the coast of Mozambique. The centerpiece of this massive river is Victoria Falls, the largest waterfall in the world; which is where the white water rafting adventure begins! About half of the rapids on the Zambezi route are considered Class Five, the highest level of difficulty. These rapids all have names that act as artful interpretations of the water. Some of these names include “Devil’s Toilet Bowl”, the “Boiling Pot”, and “Washing Machine”! In addition to Class V rapids, there are plenty of sight-seeing opportunities and other activities based around the river.
Another great white water rafting destination is the Pacuare River in Chile. The river begins in the atlantic slope of Talamanca mountain range, covers about 70 miles, and empties in the Caribbean Sea on Costa Rica’s central coast. It has an extremely high concentration of rapids throughout the river, possibly due to the sheer gorge walls flanking either side of the river. The Pacuare is also home to many species of exotic birds, plants, and other wildlife. Many of the rapids are considered Class III or Class IV, so they are great for rafters that are looking for a thrill, but not for the strongest runs available. When it is winter in the United States, it is summer in Chile, so this is a great option to get out of the winter cold.
If you find yourself in Australia, visit the Johnstone River in Queensland. This river has two major branches; the North and the South, and the junction of these rivers is considered sacred by the Mamu Aboriginals. The water levels are consistently high due to the large amount of annual rainfall that the region receives every year, and all the water pushes all the way down to the Pacific Ocean. Australia’s strict preservation and permit laws limit the number of visitors and rafters able to tackle the river are limited in order to maintain the health and safety of the surrounding rain forests. Many of the rapids are considered to be Class V, so this is a great opportunity for an experienced rafter to experience an entirely different perspective on the rafting experience.
Even if you can’t get out to these destinations this winter, you can still dream of warm water, sunny skies, and colorful birds. When you wake up, it will almost be time to begin the spring rafting season in West Virginia (well, almost at least). In the meantime, check out these destinations, and get planning for your first spring rafting adventure a little bit closer to home!